With the great focus on improving student performance in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academic areas, there has also been an awakening for STEAM. The A representing the Arts.
The University of Florida has created a fantastic infographic to describe the reasons why the arts are vital to well-rounded students. The work they put into this is notable on its own. But guess what else they did? This very cool infographic is designed to be a feeder or marketing tool to pique interest in their Online Master of Arts in Art Education!
This type of marketing is more and more prevalent now. We receive emails embedded with cool articles, graphics, etc. and then when we click the “eye candy” we are taken to some sort of advertisement.
How can these lessons of engagement be applied in education?
Professor Liz Farley-Ripple, who is teaching Education Policy and Governance at the University of Delaware, has found a way! The very first correspondence students received from her was this Piktochart news-paper headline engagement piece.
ed policy class 1st contact
EDUC 839 Intro | Piktochart Infographic Editor.
Taking a summer class is already a daunting task, but having the first connection be something visual and engaging put me at ease as a student. However, it also piqued my interest to log into the class LMS and start learning!
So, tell me, what ways will you engage students with infographics?
The three areas that I am interested in studying
- Understanding the effectiveness of online/distance learning in the higher education environment with a particular focus on cognition and technology
- Understanding how administrative decisions (or lack of) are guiding online education
- Understanding how instructor training of online education and instructor identification of his/her personal curriculum theory influences student satisfaction and learning
are varied, which leads me to believe that I will need to distill and define what I ultimately want to research for my EPP. With that said, I will discuss why I have a keen interest in cognition and technology, online administrative decision-making, and instructor training. Before I begin, however, I must first state that although my focus is about the online educational environment, I have found that criticisms and claims can be supported for both online and face-to-face teaching methods. For instance, I typically hear people criticize and compare the worst concepts of online courses to the very best of the face-to-face courses. Rarely, do people openly discuss the failings of the face-to-face methods when bashing the online teaching environment. We tend to create distinct separate silos for online and face-to-face, which I believe is an error in the overall goal to promote innovative education opportunities.
Cognition and technology in education needs to be desperately studied and I am very interested in knowing what works and what does not. When the brain is presented with several levels of sensory input, what does it select to use and retain and why? When we know that there are limits to the brain’s working memory, how can we create environments that support this limitation? How can the understanding of this information help
educators make wise decisions when creating online courses, or selecting software tools to license. We cannot fully trust the marketers of these products to rea
lly know what the student needs. We must have a basic understanding of how our brains function for optimum learning in order to make informed decisions for our students.
Yes….there is a part 3 coming…
Back to It
I am back from my hiatus. I recharged my batteries and am ready to start again. I decided to drop my winter class and take a break, which was a great decision. I am refreshed and very excited about spring semester. The two classes I am taking are Curriculum Theory and Analysis for Educational Decision Making. Scott Richardson is teaching Curriculum Theory and I cannot wait until our first class next Thursday. After only reading a few chapters in his selected text, Curriculum Theory by William Pinar, I know this class will be worthwhile.
Pinar talks about using an autobiographical technique to challenge how we teach. His second chapter is entitled, “Autobiography: A Revolutionary Act.” How cool is that? Looking at our lives and telling our stories can shed light to our own interiors and our own personal journeys, in addition to informing society and moving it forward. Pinar blends philosophy, psychology and human rights into our educational pursuits. I think he sees education as a way to free society and bring balance into our existence.
The journey begins….again